Pit Bull Belongs to HSUS Senior State Director Annie Hornish
Janet D'Aleo, 95-years old, died November 6 after a severe dog attack in Suffield.
$2 Million Settlement
UPDATE 01/13/21: The family of Janet D'Aleo has reached a settlement for $2 million dollars in their lawsuit against the owners of the dog. In November 2019, a rescued pit bull belonging to former state representative Annie Hornish, who continues to be the Connecticut senior state director of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), attacked and killed D'Aleo by inflicting a Level 6 bite. Hornish then denied this and falsely claimed D'Aleo died due to "falling."
The civil lawsuit argued that D'Aleo's death at the home of Neil and Annie Hornish was caused by the couple's "negligence and carelessness." The D'Aleo family's attorney, John Houlihan, said the settlement was finalized this month after approval from the Enfield Probate Court. The legal community responded to the award by stating: "A 25-minute video showing the active lifestyle of a 95-year-old Enfield woman" helped secure the $2 million settlement over a vicious dog attack.
The D'Aleo estate is expected to be paid in a lump sum within 30 days and will be paid by the Hornish's homeowners insurance company, even as that company is suing them. The company is accusing the couple of lying on their insurance application about owning two pit bulls. The company argues it would not have issued a policy to the Hornishes had the couple informed them that they owned two pit bulls. The Hornishes now claim that neither of their dogs are pit bulls.
The pit bull that killed D'Aleo, "Dexter," continues to be on death row in Suffield. The couple has been fighting the destruction order of the dog for over a year now. In October 2020, after a protracted dangerous dog hearing was held over the summer, the state upheld the original decision of the Suffield Animal Control officer to euthanize the dog. "The hearing officer dismissed the completely unfounded version of events that the Hornishes contrived," Houlihan said.
The Hornishes intend to appeal the decision by the state department, claiming their dog was "provoked" by D'Aleo's home health aid.
Starting from the day of the attack on November 6, 2019 to present day, the Humane Society of the United States has remained silent about Hornish's dog fatally attacking an elderly woman and about Hornish's "alternative facts" to police, animal control and state court officials after D'Aleo's mauling death. Hornish has also maintained her role as the Connecticut senior state director of the HSUS, which involves heavily lobbying Connecticut state legislators about state animal issues.
Appeal of Disposal Order Outcome
On December 21, 2020, Bruce Sherman, the Director of Bureau of Regulatory services, adopted the Proposed Final Decision in the matter of "Dexter" in full. Read the Final Decision and the Proposed Final Decision, which is attached to it, in its entirety at the below link.
Final Decision In The Matter of the Dog "Dexter," Owned by Annie and Neil Hornish
12/12/19: Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed
On Thursday, the family of a 95-year old woman who died after suffering "massive injuries including flesh, muscle and tendon loss to the lower extremities" after being mauled by a dog, filed a civil lawsuit against the owners of the dog, which includes former state representative Annie Hornish, who is currently the Connecticut senior state director of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Hornish's husband Neil is also named in the wrongful death lawsuit.
John D'Aleo, the executor of Janet D'Aleo’s estate and her son, asks for damages in excess of $15,000. The civil lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in Hartford, reports the Hartford Courant. The lawsuit alleges three counts against each defendant, for a total of six counts. Two counts under Section 22-357, the state's strict liability statute (Damage to a person or property); two counts under negligence and carelessness; and two counts under "willful, wanton and reckless" conduct.
Under the strict liability statute, "If the victim was not a trespasser, not committing a tort, and not provoking the dog, there is no defense," states attorney Kenneth Phillips on DogBiteLaw.com. The other two counts require the victim to prove the defendant(s) had knowledge of the dog's vicious propensities, or had "the means of knowledge, of them." Those counts are spelled out on pages 3-8. Our favorite is part f. (pages 7 and 14), which alleges defendants ignored behavioral indicators.
The incident and the injuries and losses sustained and suffered by D'Aleo and/or her estate were caused by the willful, wanton, and reckless conduct of the [defendants] in one or more of the following ways:
f.) in that [defendants] consciously ignored behavioral indicators that the dog presented an unreasonable danger to the persons in proximity to the dog, including the plaintiff's decedent.
The estate's attorney, John Houlihan from RisCassi & Davis law firm, provided a statement to Fox 61 Thursday. "This terrible loss is compounded by the fact that it was entirely preventable. And the family's pain is made even worse by the extreme efforts being employed to fight the animal control officer's decision to euthanize this obviously dangerous dog. Had that much energy been used to control the dog in the first place, this tragedy would not have happened," said Houlihan.
The Role of the HSUS
On June 20, the day that Hornish first became aware of "Dexter," Hornish was responding to a Facebook post by Jessica Kaczynski, who stated in part, "Sadly, we are looking for an immediate home/foster for my parent's dog Dexter. He is sweet, loyal, house-trained -- with the exception that he jumps through windows that have screens and today he broke the glass window to get outside -- that was the last straw for my parents. Anxiety medicine has helped him in the past with this."
Acting in the capacity as a senior state director of the HSUS, Hornish responds in comments by trash-talking the Connecticut Humane Society (CHS), which has no association to the HSUS, then provides Kaczynski with her HSUS office phone number. Hornish pleads with her not to bring Dexter to CHS under the guise the group will kill Dexter "just because of its breed." That very day, or by July 9, Hornish became the owner of Dexter. Four months later, the dog kills D'Aleo.
We reached out to dog bite attorney Kenneth Phillips for a response. His response hits hard about an organization that for decades had been known for promoting a healthy relationship between people and dogs and for supporting the best interests of animal shelters. Those decades have since passed. Now, of the only 30 or 40 fatal dog maulings annually, a senior state director of the HSUS is the owner of one of these dogs. This is not a fall from grace; it is a fall into a black abyss.
"One of the top officials of the Humane Society of the United States owns a killer pit bull -- is this really a surprise? The modern HSUS can be counted on no longer to promote a healthy relationship between people and dogs, as evidenced by the fact that it has staunchly refused to take a stand against the breeding of pit bulls. It refuses to recognize that this is the most abused, unwanted and dangerous type of dog, known for its savage, fatal attacks on its owners and its owners' children. This type of dog also commits 90% of the fatal attacks on other people's dogs, cats and horses. The HSUS, which normally would be expected to support the best interests of animal shelters, knows that pit bulls make up more than half the dogs in shelters, putting a huge financial strain on shelters and forcing them to push pit bulls on unsuspecting, good people who often are tricked into accepting this unsuitable, risky animal into their homes. If the HSUS cared about pets and people, it would speak out against the breeding of pit bulls. But instead, a high-level official of that organization turns out to be the owner of one of the 30 or 40 pit bulls which have killed an American this year. What a terrible reflection on a once noble organization." - Attorney Kenneth Phillips, DogBiteLaw.com
Attempt to Supersede Order
In our November 26 update, we reported that Hornish appealed the animal control officer's destruction order to the state Department of Agriculture. Just before Thanksgiving, however, more disturbing news was reported. Not only did Hornish appeal the destruction order, she and her husband sent "intervention" letters to Suffield First Selectwoman Melissa Mack in an attempt to override the animal control officer's decision to euthanize the dog. Mack declined to intervene.
No Licensing or Vaccination
We have known for weeks that Hornish failed to license "Dexter" after owning the pit bull for just over four months. The lawsuit states that Hornish also failed to provide a valid rabies vaccination certificate for her dog, another violation of state law. Both add weight to Hornish's negligent dog ownership. One can only speculate about her failure to license. Dexter had two previous bites in Norwich prior to being rehomed to Annie. The dog was already in the legal system in her state.
Also, recall that Suffield police chose to not bring criminal charges against Hornish "after careful consideration and consultation with the Enfield Superior Court State’s Attorney’s Office." Could they prove Hornish had knowledge of the dog's vicious propensities "beyond a reasonable doubt" in a criminal prosecution? They opted not to try. But the burden of proof is much lower in a civil lawsuit. One only has to show a "preponderance of the evidence," the lowest standard of proof.
11/26/19: Appeals Destruction Order
Suffield Police have completed their investigation after a rehomed pit bull belonging to Annie Hornish, the Connecticut senior state director of the Humane Society of the United States, mauled and killed an elderly woman while she visited Hornish's residence on November 6. Hornish told media outlets after the vicious attack that 95-year old Janet D'Aleo died due to "falling." Police, however, categorized the bite as a Level 6, a dog bite that results in human death.
The police investigation revealed that "Dexter," which Hornish had adopted about four months earlier, had previously bitten at least two times. The dog bit a person in 2016 and bit another dog in 2018, both bites occurred in the town of Norwich, police said. After the dog killed D'Aleo, the town's animal control officer declared Dexter "vicious" and ordered the dog euthanized. Hornish is now fighting this destruction order by appealing the order to the state Department of Agriculture.
It is unknown if Hornish knew about the previous bites, but she knew when she acquired Dexter the dog had jumped through a glass window to get outside and required anti-anxiety medication. After the fatal attack, Hornish claimed that Dexter had "never shown aggression" before. Hornish continuously claims she had owned Dexter for six to eight months, but July 9 to November 6 is only four months. Hornish also claims that Dexter had been around D'Aleo "multiple times."
"The dog has no history, whatsoever, of aggression," Hornish said. "The dog has been around children and has been around Janet D'Aleo multiple times. - Hartford Courant, November 9, 2019
"It all happened fast," Hornish said. "Dexter ran into Janet -- he knew Janet; she's been here multiple times -- and she was walking, but she was very fragile. She fell over, and we feel it was the fall that killed her." - Journal Inquirer, November 6, 2019
Why would Hornish fabricate her ownership date of this dog, which at the very earliest was June 20? Perhaps because she wants to place Dexter at "multiple" home events with D'Aleo? The infamous "Birthday Party" video, when Hornish claimed Dexter was "singing" was posted to her Facebook page on July 20. D'Aleo appears to be present, standing behind the woman in the pink floral shirt. D'Aleo is also one of the people in the room that is the furthest away from Dexter.
Finally, while this news was breaking today, Hornish "re-activated" her Facebook account and published a public post that can only be described as shameless, narcissistic and a psychological projection. We certainly hope D'Aleo's family, Suffield Police and the Commissioner of Agriculture, Bryan Hurlburt -- who Hornish served alongside as a state Rep. from 2009 to 2011 -- eventually sees it. Several hours after publishing this delusional, self-pitying post, Hornish deleted it.
11/15/19: Failed Police Commission Run
On November 5, Annie Hornish appeared on the town of Suffield ballot for police commission -- voters could vote for three candidates and five candidates were listed. The following day, on November 6, Hornish's pit bull "Dexter" attacked and killed 95-year old Janet D'Aleo, who was visiting Hornish's home. Hornish claimed multiple times on the record that D'Aleo died due to "falling," even after the Suffield Police Department designated the bite injuries as a Level 6.
The office of the Chief Medical Examiner said D’Aleo died as a direct result of coming in contact with the dog. D’Aleo sustained "massive injuries including flesh, muscle and tendon loss to the lower extremities," Suffield police said, the very department Hornish sought to oversee with a seat on the police commission. Hornish also continues her role as the Connecticut senior state director of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) after her dog killed an elderly woman.
After the attack, Hornish publicly rejected the office of the Chief Medical Examiner's findings and the Suffield Police Department's findings. In a written statement Monday to the Hartford Courant, Hornish continued her denials and described the attack, which she did not witness in full, as: "Our dog Dexter was overly enthusiastic in greeting our good friend, and the ensuing chaos resulted in this terrible outcome," Hornish said. "Our grief for Janet is tantamount and heartfelt," she said.
The results of the November election are not listed on the city's website. We reached out to Kenneth Pascoe, the board contact for the Suffield Police Commission. He stated in an email reply, "There were 5 individuals running for 3 slots -- 2 Democrats and 3 Republicans." Both Democrats lost, he wrote, "Hornish and Stromoski." If she had been elected, Hornish would be overseeing a department she just marginalized through her repeated denials and dishonesty.
2013 State Preemption Law
In 2013, state legislators in Connecticut passed a state preemption law barring municipalities from enacting or enforcing breed-specific laws. In her role as the senior state director of the HSUS, Hornish successfully lobbied legislators to pass the legislation, House Bill 6311. In a February 20, 2013 letter to the Planning and Development Committee, Hornish laid out her anti-BSL talking points. We specifically call your attention to page 2, "Understanding the real risk factors."
Hornish did not understand the real risk factors in Dexter, a dog she knew to be "overexuberant" and in the past had broken through a window to get outside. Hornish failed to recognize any warning signs in Dexter (claiming instead he was "singing" in the "Birthday Party" video), failed to properly manage her dog's behaviors, by placing him into a situation with an elderly person using a walker, then denied all responsibility and denied that bite injuries from her dog killed a woman.
Annie Hornish states in the 2013 letter in part:
"The dog's upbringing. Dogs raised by owners who understand and manage their behaviors and provide veterinary care may avoid painful or uncomfortable conditions that can cause overreactions to being handled.
The dog's personality. Like people, some dogs are more easy-going than others, while others don't adjust well to new situations. No two dogs will ever react exactly the same way to a given circumstance.
The person's ability to recognize warning signs. Dogs who bite usually give some kind of warning, whether subtle or overt. If people ignore or misunderstand such warnings, dogs may feel the need or urge to bite."
11/11/19: Died Due to Level 6 Bite
New information has been released about an elderly woman who died after being attacked by a pit bull belonging to Annie Hornish, who is the Connecticut senior state director of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Janet D’Aleo, of Enfield, died as a direct result of coming in contact with the dog. D’Aleo sustained "massive injuries including flesh, muscle and tendon loss to the lower extremities," according to police.
Police said under the "Ian Dunbar Bite Assessment Scale, the incident rated a level six of six." Level 6 of the scale is a dog bite inflicted fatality.
The Ian Dunbar Dog Bite Scale has long been in existence. Level 1 is aggression but no teeth contact. Level 5 is multiple damaging bites from a hard biting dog. Level 6 leaves a victim dead. Dunbar recommends the following for Level 5 and Level 6 biters: "The dog is extremely dangerous and mutilates. The dog is simply not safe around people. I recommend euthanasia because the quality of life is so poor for dogs that have to live out their lives in solitary confinement."
Hornish's Pathological Denials
Last week, Hornish made multiple false claims to media outlets -- she's on the record -- that D’Aleo died "due to falling." Hornish also falsely accused the victim's home health aide of causing the dog to attack D'Aleo when the aide attempted to save her client's life. With a Level 6 bite, it is clear the health aide was striking the dog with a metal chair to get the dog to release. The pit bull bore down and was shaking the victim in his jaws then re-gripped and repeated this type of bite.
Police stated "lower extremities" in the plural, indicating severe bites to both of her lower extremities and in multiple anatomical locations.
Hornish also called the fatal attack inflicted by her pit bull a "freak accident," a term used by pit bull owners since the 1980s to mitigate the deaths carried out by pit bulls every 16 days in the U.S. since 2005. Hornish was not present when the attack began, but claimed to know the sequence of the events. Hornish is also oblivious about her dog's behavior as seen in the "Birthday Party" video, as well as knowing her pit bull has broken through a window to get outside in the past.
Calling a Pit Bull a Pit Bull
Dexter is a pit bull; he is not a pit bull-pointer mix. Having the "coloring" of a pointer does not equate to being an actual dog breed. Hornish also claimed her dog has never bitten before. How would she know since "Dexter" had at least six different owners by the age of 4? Hornish is not a dog expert and is certainly not a pit bull expert. There are only a handful of pit bull experts in this country. Hornish's pit bull should never have been near a 95-year old woman using a walker.
Hornish should resign as the Connecticut senior state director of the HSUS. She lied multiple times on the record after her dangerous pit bull killed an elderly woman by inflicting "massive injuries including flesh, muscle and tendon loss to the lower extremities." Hornish has been dishonest, shameful and repugnant. Hornish is also an irresponsible pit bull owner who failed to recognize multiple behavioral red flags and subjected a highly vulnerable person to her dog.
11/08/19: HSUS Director Owns Dog
The home where a 95-year old woman was severely bitten by a pit bull belongs to former a state politician. Janet D'Aleo died Wednesday after being rushed to Baystate Medical Center. The dog lived at 584 Thrall Avenue, which is the residence of former state Rep. Annie Hornish, an animal rights activist. D'Aleo had been visiting Hornish's mother, Agnes Wosko, when Hornish's pit bull attacked the elderly woman, causing "substantial and severe injuries," Chief Richard Brown said.
The Hornish family has owned the 4-year old male pit bull-mix for several months. The family also owns a white female pit bull, named Tofu (see a July 9 Facebook post). Police said they are looking into the dog's background. "The detective assigned and our animal control officer are still working to gather additional information before drawing any conclusions," Brown said. "We're trying to find out about the pedigree of this animal. If it was a rescue, where did it come from?"
A politically correct animal lover and former state representative like Annie Hornish would only have a rescue pit bull, and a neutered one at that. Annie Hornish was a member of the state House of Representatives from 2009 to 2011. She is currently listed as the Connecticut senior state director of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). A rescue pit bull belonging to a senior state director at the HSUS just fatally attacked a 95-year old woman -- let that sink in.
Fire Dispatch Logs
The Hartford Courant "breaking news" version will be continuously updating today. Hornish has now been quoted as blaming her mother's home health aid who struck the dog with a metal stool after the dog jumped on D'Aleo, who uses a walker. "It seems as if the dog got excited and it was overexuberant," Hornish said. "[The dog] jumped on a friend with a walker and she fell backward and we believe that's what killed her." As of Friday, an autopsy has not yet been performed.
"Hornish said the dog, Dexter, was reacting to being hit repeatedly with a metal stool by her mother's home health aide, who apparently thought the dog was greeting their visitor too enthusiastically when he jumped on D'Aleo, who uses a walker ... 'It seems as if the dog got excited and it was overexuberant,' Hornish said. '[The dog] jumped on a friend with a walker and she fell backward and we believe that's what killed her.'" - Hartford Courant, November 8, 2019
Police characterized D'Aleo's injuries as "bleeding from a dog bite" and bitten on her lower extremities, causing "substantial and severe injuries." Dispatch logs from Suffield Police, Fire and EMS show the call for a "dog bite" came in at 2:57 pm. At 3:08 pm, another call comes in. Dispatch asks, "Can you check with people on the scene and see if we have a Janet D'Aleo? We are receiving another call from a monitoring company. Something about a dog attack?"1
The only person who is characterizing D'Aleo's death as a "fall," and at that, "a very unfortunate accident," is the owner of the pit bull, former state Rep. Annie Hornish who continues to be the Connecticut senior state director of the HSUS. The 911 caller told police the woman had been bitten and was bleeding. Two separate monitoring companies for Suffield Police, Fire and EMS picked up reports of a "dog bite" and "dog attack." There was no mention of a falling injury.
By Friday evening, it was reported that the medical examiner's office determined the 95-year old's death was caused by the dog bite.
The History of Dexter
From November 2018 to June 2019, a woman named Jessica Kaczynski attempted to rehome Dexter on Facebook. There are exceptions to Dexter, such as, "he jumps through windows that have screens and today he broke though a glass window to get outside -- that was the last straw for my parents," she wrote on June 20. "Anxiety medicine has helped him in the past with this," she wrote. In comments, she connects with Hornish who offers her phone number to help.
There are several key aspects in the June 20, 2019 post. Kaczynski claims the CT Humane Society will euthanize "because he's a pit bull." But, Kaczynski may just be pulling heartstrings in order to find an instant adopter or foster. Hornish buys into it, calling CT Humane Society's actions "unacceptable." Further down, Kaczynski states, "We found a potential forever home for him. Just dropped him off there!" It is unclear who this owner is, but Hornish is the owner by July 9.
The November 2018 post was left at Pit Bull Rescue Central. "Looking for a home for Dexter, a 3-year old male pit bull, whose parents were evicted from their apartment and face homelessness … I found a temporary foster home for him but they can only keep him for a couple of days," she wrote. If one adds up "only known" homes, Dexter had six different owners by the age of 4 when he reaches Hornish. This excludes unknown fosters and "forever homes" that failed to pan out.2
Lastly, don't miss the "Birthday Party" video on Hornish's Facebook page. Hornish's pit bull, "Dexter," quite literally takes over the party in an unpleasant and "overexuberant" manner. At about 7:30 pm Friday, Hornish removed her Facebook page -- we have replaced with copies.
11/07/19: Pit Bull Kills Elderly Woman
Suffield, CT - An elderly woman is dead after being attacked by a male pit bull-mix Wednesday. Just before 3:00 pm, emergency responders were called to 584 Thrall Avenue after reports of a person bleeding from a canine attack. Arriving responders found 95-year old Janet D'Aleo of Enfield suffering life-threatening injuries from the attack. She was transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she later died of her severe dog bite injuries.
D'Aleo had been visiting the home on Thrall Avenue when the dog attacked her, according to police. The male pit bull-pointer mix was placed into quarantine pending an investigation by the Suffield Police Department and Suffield Animal Control. Since 2005, six people have been killed by dogs in Connecticut. 100% of these victims are female; 83% are females over the age of 50; and 67% are females over the age of 70. Pit bulls were responsible for half of these deaths.
Highest Year on Record
D'Aleo's death marks the 42nd dog bite fatality this year and it is only November 7. The highest annual number of fatalities since 2005 is 43 deaths. Over the 14-year period of 2005 through 2018, the months of May (49 deaths) and November (48 deaths) have the highest rate of dog bite fatalities followed by the months of August and December (each with 46 deaths). We anticipate 2019 to be the highest fatality year on record -- possibly over 50 fatal dog mauling victims.
21.) Birth home 2.) Evicted owners 3.) Temporary foster 4.) Kaczynski 5.) June 2019 "forever home" and 6.) Annie Hornish.
05/15/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Redding Woman Dies After Being Attacked by Her Own Dog
07/07/16: 2016 Dog Bite Fatality: New Haven Woman Dies After 'Hannibal Lecter' Style Mauling
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.
My thought are with this latest family. The numbers (especially of female victims) seem to be climbing at a dizzying rate this year. So many needless deaths by animals thought of as man’s best friend. Thank you for giving us a place to become educated and educate others on this epidemic.
The owner might also be thinking that if she doesn’t continue mongering “kill or die trying” bully dogs 100% that she will become the focus of the cult’s insane fury. Fury that no doubt she has encouraged in the past.
How does anyone allow a 95 year old woman to be attacked and killed by a dog? Did she have life insurance? If so, who benefited from her death?
I personally think the deaths caused by dogs will have to increase a lot before anyone listens. The pit bull supporters don’t seem to care about these deaths. The pit bulls are more important than people’s lives.
My theory is that it’s not the numbers, it’s the victims. Most victims of serious and fatal dog attacks do not come from neighborhoods and towns where the wealthier, more influential and powerful members of their region live. I just did a very, very casual look at the last 20 fatal attack victims. Only 4 lived in towns/cities/villages where the median income was at or above the US median income. They didn’t live in poverty, but they were also not living anywhere near the people who influence laws on a state and national level. This is why the pit bull breeder lobby has focused on pre-emption – so the state-level people living in 90k median income towns can be easily convinced to ‘save doggies from discrimination’. They literally have no skin in the game, so it’s an easy sell. If you’re a career public servant at that level, you can easily buy a $3400 Goldendoodle and have her flown in to be your child’s pet, and all your neighbors have the same ability. I live near places like that, and you do not see pit bulls being walked on their streets. You see doodles, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Goldens, Beagles, etc.
My parents lived in a nice neighborhood. And, lo and behold, guess what started showing up. If you guessed pit bulls, you’re right on the money.
And, speaking of money, the local SPCA is very good at raising money from people in neighborhoods like my parents’.
Now, what kind of dog do you think this SPCA is pushing? If you kept your guesser locked on pit bulls, you’re right again.
I live in Pearland Tx with a very healthy average income, in an upper middle class area, and assure y’all that pit bulls, pit bull mixes and a variety of exotic mastiffs outnumber the doodles walked, especially on/near playgrounds. We share a border with Houston, rescue culture rules here.
I definitely think you have a point. Given my past observations, it certainly seems as though many pitbull owners are okay with accepting a reduced standard of living. Be it a torn up shack or a decent home that is dirty or damaged or full of crates because of the dog, it seems that they are so blinded by their quest to promote the breed, that they are fine with their reduced quality of life.
Using Annie here as an example, she was evidently at peace with the prospect of this dog crashing through a $1000+ window in her home. Of course, it seems as though she has the money to deal with any collateral expenses that may arise.
This is so heartbreaking. This woman had such a long life, only to have it end in pain and fear by a dog while visiting someone. I had a dear great aunt who loved to be 105. At 95 she was still vivacious, able bodied and independent. This victim may have had years ahead of her yet. But because someone chose to get a dog containing half or more of the most deadly dog there is, she’s gone.
As a side note, I see lots of “pointer mixes” advertised at shelters when pointers are actually not a very common breed and the photos show no discernible pointer traits. But even if it IS a pit bull/pointer mix, it just shows how even a little bit of bully breed blood can pollute a dog. Even in mixes with “good” breeds, those deadly pit instincts come through with incredible strength.
Two words: Shelters lie. That’s all you need to know.
Pollute is a good word for pit bull breeding and infestation.
Yoder, it was a put bull. Not a mix. The owner of this killer dog, Annie Hornish, is downplaying her responsibility in this woman’s horrific, totally avoidable & absolutely predictable pit-mauling death, by lying about the breed (and lying, lying, lying about many other things). I saw the photos of the dog. It’s totally Pit Bull. Pit Nutters always claim purebred Pits are “mixed breeds”…so devious. Just because the Pit had some smaller black spots does NOT mean that it’s lineage is mixed with anything other than the purposely-bred fighting dog breed, Pit Bull. I do agree with you wholeheartedly, that Janet D’Aleo‘s life was ruthlessly stolen from her…and that she likely had multiple years of life ahead of her, which was her right to enjoy. My grandmother lived just shy of 100, which was shocking, as we expected her to live far past 100 (Our family has a history of such longevity). The killing of Janet D’Aleo was no “unexpected mishap”. The killer Pit Bull’s owner, Annie Hornish, appears to be a Pit Bull advocate sociopath, lying her face off. She appears completely unphased, not upset at all, which is seriously disturbing! I also agree that Pit Bull “mixes” are to be considered Pit Bulls…they cannot be trusted & are NOT “pets”. It is much like mixing some Python, Hyenna and Alligator in & expecting the creature to not eat children (and cats, adults, dogs, etc..). It IS the breed. Pit Bulls kill. They’re just doing what they’ve been painstakingly selectively bred to do. To expect anything other than that is the very definition of insanity. I hope Ms. Hornish pays dearly for her active participation in Janet D’Aleo‘s death by Pit Bull. She simply MUST be held accountable.
There are only two possibilities: Either the dog was known to show signs of aggression, or this was its first time showing any aggression. People who think that any specific dog will always be 100% friendly are always shocked, stunned and amazed that the dog attacked. However, people who know that dogs are unpredictable, dangerous animals, are never shocked, stunned, or amazed when any dog attacks, because the reason is that it is an unpredictable, dangerous animal.
The home she was visiting, was the home of an old friend living with her daughter, an animal activist. They are blaming it on the home health aide who reprimanded the dog for barking with visitors and calling it a tragic accident and not the dogs fault. She fell backwards according to the Hartford Curant?spelling…
Interesting update – the property where the deadly attack occured and the killer pit bull are both owned by Annie Hornish. She is the current “Director” for the Humane Society of the US for Connecticut and a former state rep for CT whose re-election campaign literature featured a white pit bull.
As part of her job at HSUS, she helped tank a 2018 initiative to examine serious dog attacks in CT. When that died, the state’s dept of Agriculture took it up independently. Their working group is dominated by people with financial interests in representing dog owners – a vet, a rescue group, the CT HSUS, an animal control officers. This seems to indicate, btw, that Annie Hornish or coworkers will end up being one of the people in a position to decide the fate of her pit bull.
Wow. Just wow. This woman proposes that dogs which have attacked people be given DUE PROCESS. She compared it to a human’s right to be innocent until proven guilty. She said this is needed because “the stakes are so high.” What she refers to there is that dogs might be removed “unnecessarily” from their homes. She says that dangerous dog law is complicated. When a dog kills someone, it really isn’t complicated. When a dog kills someone (no matter the scenario or if the person “fell” or the dog was being “reprimanded”) it should be photographed, its breed determined by an unbiased party, and then destroyed. No due process. No costly court battles. No lengthy holds or any attempt to rehabilitate it. Humans should come first, every single time. Every excuse in the world is going to be made for this killer dog, as if this elderly lady’s life is worth comparing to that of an animal. What a twisted world we live in.
If every unpredictably dangerous dog were removed from their home, there would be much, much less than tens and hundreds of thousands of maulings in this country every year. Closer to zero, instead of hundreds of thousands. Problem: People like to possess unpredictably dangerous dogs.
HSUS must fire this whack job & stop promoting Pit Bulls. She needs to go to prison. She took in an obviously problematic Pit Bull that was ousted from many multiple homes & documented to break out of windows, become agitated with visitors (watch the “birthday party” video), and freely allowed it to kill. The bizarre, twisted news report video (Fox news) shows her presenting as a sociopath, with absolutely NO signs of distress, upset nor trauma, as she so claims. In fact, she appears detached and cool as a cucumber, as she gaslights the reporter into focusing on HER, the dog and her lies that the deceased “fell backwards”, instead of being mauled to death by HER Pit Bull. That she previously killed off dog bite legislation in order to protect dangerous dogs and their owners should be highlighted during her trial.
I feel really lucky to have found a wonderful little mix terrier breed at the
local humane society. I looked a long time and almost bought a prison dog in Colorado. The prison dogs are vetted and trained but go fast.Most of the dogs are pit bull mixes at the local pound . The humane society has a low rating on yelp because they euthanized a returned pit bull that had a history of biting twice!
Re: the video of the party – the b/w pit bull’s body language as it starts up, barking, is not nice at all. Rigid body, head whipped to the side, whale eye – aroused and frozen, a horrible combination.
Looks like they got it from a Jessica Kaczynski, who posted in June on FB:
“Sadly we are looking for an immediate home/foster home for my parent’s dog Dexter. I had rescued him about six months ago. He is sweet, loyal, house trained- with the exception that he jumps through windows that have screens and today he broke though a glass window to get outside- that was the last straw for my parents. Anxiety medicine has helped him in the past with this. When another dog is around he does not do that. He only tries to break through windows when he is alone.
Even if someone can take him just for a couple of weeks to but time. My parents want to take him to the Humane Society and when I called them when I was originally looking for a home for him they said he would euthanize him because he’s a pitbull. So bring him there is a death sentence.”
She amends that later, saying b/c it’s a pit bull WITH SEVERE ANXIETY, he’s likely to be euthanized.
Amazingly, this is not a 19yo girl with an immature brain but a 30-something woman who passed her ‘rescued’ pit bull on to her aging parents because she was going through a divorce. When they lose patience with it being insanely hard to handle, she’s bummed they didn’t give it more time.
That video clip gave me chills. Does anyone else in that room understand how worked up that dog really is? I notice that the person sitting with him began to move away. You are spot on with your analysis of the danger signs he was displaying.
This dog owner sounds like she is doing all she can to blame everyone for this lady’s death except for the dog that did it. Who wants to bet that the home health caregiver was hitting the be dog with the metal stool because he was already ATTACKING the victim? And how does a “fall” relate to bloody bite injuries? Lies and deflection, anything to make the dog come away as a hapless victim of unfortunate circumstance and not as the murdering aggressor. Just your normal pit bull owner deflecting blame, except this one is high ranking in the HSUS. This case will either be glossed over, or (hopefully) will be enough to draw attention to the problem.
And this is yet another dog that has to be on anti-anxiety medication just to function in a home without busting through windows. Sounds like the perfect animal to be around seniors! It’s too bad that this dog wasn’t put to sleep as he should have been before some do-gooder “rescue angels” swooped in and saved him so he could live to kill this 95 year old lady. This woman’s blood is on the hands of every person who kept this dog from being put down.
And that electoral ad for Hornish? She probably got a ton of votes from the pit crowd thanks to that grimacing dog beside her. They call it “smiling” of course, but it’s nothing more than the result of having a huge maw. What a big smile you have! The better to maim you with, my dear.
Everything about this story disgusts me.
So well said on all counts. The video is chilling especially with the woman there holding a baby.
Agree… dog was resource guarding that chair and chased the woman sitting next to him away. The woman he went after probably didn’t think that was cute.
I wonder if she’s grateful to be alive right now. If I was her, I would be.
You can see the whites of his eyes. That lady was immediately uncomfortable when he turned his gaze at her.
The caregiver was the only one who tried to protect this elderly victim and she’s getting the blame for the attack? By a former state rep and high level HSUS representative? This is so scummy, I can’t believe it. I want to hear the caregiver’s side of the story.
If you donate money to HSUS, stop. Right now. Instead, start donating to organizations like the one that’s been running this website for more than a decade.
I find it shocking that, once again, a dog that murdered a person doesn’t get destroyed for it’s unspeakable crime. They are talking about investigating “before drawing conclusions”, and they want to know iwnether the dog was a “rescue” or not. Who cares? The dog is a murderer, that’s the only conclusion to be drawn here, and it needs to be killed on the spot for destroying a precious human life. But no, that’s not what’s happening.
Truly, we live in a society of insane dog worshipers, who think dogs are more valuable than people.
This may sound horrible, but I really hope the victim had lots of surviving family members, and that they are pissed off and geared up for some serious legal response.
We can’t bring her back but the surviving family members can legally barbecue a pit pushing politician.
After that disgusting response to the press with the pig pit owner trying to blame the home care worker for disciplining the dog… when what actually happened was a brutal attack that couldn’t be stopped by anyone, and certainly not the HCW, who sounds like the only person who even tried to save the victim.
I concur with Yoder. This is absolutely repulsive in every way.
One of my Tucson friends is a personal injury attorney. Believe me, this guy is no fan of pit bulls.
But pit bull injury cases? Oh, brother. My friend turns into a personal injury attorney/pit bull.
In one instance, a facial mauling of a toddler, he won a $500k judgment.
In short, I hope that Janet D’Aleo’s surviving family members hire a lawyer like my friend.
I had an interesting conversation last year with someone whose niece was mauled by a pit bull as a child. Thanks to a) the owners having resources and b) the parents hiring an good lawyer, the little girl ended up paying for college with the settlement.
Yep Sue the houses out of the fat cat backers and Best Friends, who I am sure has lots of $$$ could get us somewhere.
Wow. Pardon my French, but Anne Hornish sounds like a grade A asshole. When the first comment from you regarding the death of your elderly disabled mother’s elderly disabled friend is a LIE, you instantly lose all credibility and respect. (That’s assuming you were working with any to begin with.)
“Nothing to see here, folks! This is a cut and dry case of spontaneous jugular abruption. The dog just HAPPENED to be greeting her in an exuberant manner when she just happened to bleed out. The two things are completely unrelated. I’ll be requesting an unnecessary autopsy at taxpayer’s expense to attempt to prove my bullshit theory.”
Hornish isn’t sympathetic or empathetic. She’s just plain pathetic.
Condolences to the family of Mrs. D’Aleo. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Since when is the opinion of the dog’s owner (who was not even present) given such credibility in a case like this? Is she a medical doctor to so quickly conclude that the fall killed this lady?Her synopsis of what happened is put out there almost as fact in many of these articles. Sounds like typical drivel too… he was just greeting her, he only bit because he got scared, it was the health worker’s fault for reprimanding him, it was the old lady’s fault for being frail and using a walker, etc. And of course some articles have the usual pit bull defense spiel at the end. “This isn’t because of the breed. Blah blah blah.”
When will the home health worker get to voice what really happened? Who hits a dog with a metal stool hard enough to bend it just to keep a dog from EXUBERANTLY GREETING someone as Hornish claims? That sounds much more like a desperate attempt to keep a dog from mauling someone to death. I hope this health worker is not intimidated by money and political power into keeping silent.
And what if, let’s just say what if Hornish’s fanciful account had been true… does that excuse the behavior of the dog? If she died from being knocked down by the dog jumping on her, isn’t that still a death caused by Hornish’s dog? And isn’t a dog that’s so out of control that it jumps on old ladies and then bites them when someone tries to pull them off still a danger?
Hopefully this case won’t quietly disappear over the weekend.
Exuberant greeting… with teeth. And head shakes. And despite an able bodied person armed with a metal stool, the “greeting” didn’t stop until she was dead.
F_ck this owner and her insane pit pushing agenda. I hope she plans on resigning her post on Monday.
You are amazing. I hope someone told you that today. AWESOME Job and coverage here.
Absolutely! Great job Colleen. It’s an unlovely, depressing task but so desperately needed. I can only hope that some day sanity will resume and your task will become easier because there are far fewer deaths to record. Thank you for your diligence.
Agreed. Incredible reporting. You’ve done it again.
Well, gosh golly. Wonder why Annie Hornish, a public figure who is very well known, would suddenly disable her Facebook page.
Sounds like someone’s in big trouble and needs to, ahem, take care of some evidence that could be incriminating.
This is going to get interesting. Very interesting. Annie Hornish is a Humane Society VIP and a Connecticut society VIP. Her pitbull advocacy has killed her mother’s friend and she immediately starts to defend her dog as well as herself as the owner. She has the disgusting audacity to blame a $10-$12 an hour Home Health Aid employee on this attack as well as the victim for falling. Sadly, I suspect the official records will be amended because of her status to make this appear like this was caused by a fall. Unfortunately we’re going to see what happens when a former or current high-ranking government official is involved in a significant incident resulting in death.
This attack made The Drudge Report!
They are now calling it a pit pointer mix:
Oh, ffs. Pointers are not common, their owners have zero interest in letting them run loose making puppies and pit bull owners have less than zero interest in putting anything other than mastiff or bulldog into their breed. Any atypically lean pit bull that’s predominately white is called a pointer mix but it’s not true. That animal is a pit bull, full stop. There’s no ‘mix’ about it.
Even the individual who was trying to find Dexter a new home called him a pit bull. No mention of pointer at all. And she posted one of her pleas to save him on PIT BULL CENTRAL Facebook page. She also calls him a “perfect dog.” Yeah, right… a perfect dog which busts through windows, needs anti-anxiety medications, freaks out at birthday parties and kills elderly ladies.
As reported by Animals 24/7, Hornish’s comments on the killing:
“The dog has no history, whatsoever, of aggression. The dog has been around children and has been around Janet D’Aleo multiple times. These are not breed-specific issues and that is something people who have pit bulls understand.”
The dog has an extensive history of the exact temperament flaw that leads to 99% of aggression in dogs – anxiety. And I hope to God that the police recognize this, and that they also notice that the secondary defense – he’s been around kids and old folks a lot! – is less of a defense and more of an admission of bad judgement, given the outcome of having it around one old lady in particular.
And if the police do not understand this, I would hope that one of the no doubt legion members of dog handling professions residing in that local area would bring it to their attention. Dogs who go through windows out of anxiety if left alone are NOT safe dogs, particularly not when they’re physically powerful and of breeds with extensive attack/mauling backgrounds.
“The dog has been around children and has been around Janet D’Aleo multiple times.”
We see these kinds of comments over and over and over again. Sweet Biffy’s long long history of familiarity with the victim, whom Sweet Biffy just happened to maul to death one day out of the blue. Gee, it’s SRUV again.
Are the people saying this doing so because they think it is exculpatory?
Unless they are claiming that it wasn’t Sweet Biffy who mauled the victim into a non-living state, then no amount of words can exculpate the pit bull. So the words must be intended to exculpate the pit bull owner from liability — IOW, “how was I to know that Sweet Biffy would do this?”
Except that ***this*** is exactly what pit bulls do, are documented to do, and make news story after news story as a result of doing. At a certain point, pit bull owners claiming ignorance of what their dog is capable of doing, esp. after the dog has done it, has to stop being accepted as credible.
Hornish likely has a lot to lose, financially. A $337k house in a zip code where the median household income is 40% above the national figure.
I’m wondering if the blame-shifting and FB deactivation are defensive moves to protect her assets as much as herself.
She may have disabled the FB page, but there’s this little website that has screenshots of it. And what website might I be referring to? This one, people.
Poor Annie. She just stepped in it bigtime.
And I’m sure that the victim’s family’s personal injury lawyer will capitalize on this to the nth degree. And I hope that said attorney wins a HUGE judgment.
A dog that bashes it’s way through a window to get to something it wants, already shows severe signs of aggression.
This blindness to the obvious is why most pitbull owners are far too stupid to own anything other than a goldfish.
Hmmm, can’t wait to see the apologists start blaming the owner on this one. Wow…just wow. These animals should NOT be re-homed if there is any possibility of a threat like this. Let them breed them into a toy breed! Can’t believe they are starting to pass pre-emptive laws to prevent people who are trying to reduce the risks. Like pushback from car manufacturers who are opposed to seat-belts. This is one example of how the world has gone nuts!
If you donate to the HSUS or the ASPCA, death by pit bull is what you really support. Death for people, pets, and livestock.
Makes it to 95 years old to only be mauled to death by a SHITBULL.
Thank s just sad …..
Speaking of donations…
FYI, people, I discovered last night that I can have my Amazon Smile donations directed to dogsbite.org.
Smile is a free Amazon program that donates a percentage of every eligible Amazon purchase you make to the charity of your choice, at no additional cost to you. It’s free to participate in and free to set up.
I switched my donations to Dogsbite, and I urge you all to do the same.
For anyone trying to do this:
1. log into your Amazon account.
2. Hit the “Account” button at the top right
3. Once on the menu screen, to speed up your search, hit [control + F], type the word “smile” in the box and hit return
4. It will highlight the word smile and the link to the program
5. Once in there, use the search box just below the first listed charities and search dogsbite.org
Done! Thanks for the tips, Anion and Christy.
A land shark with severe anxiety who jumps through windows, breaking the glass. Yeah, I’m chomping at the bit to have that kind of action in my house!
Can we determine if the owner was home at the time of the attack? One article indicated that she was not.
If she wasn’t home, she can’t have witnessed the attack, unless there is in-house security footage.
The story is changing again, with police describing horrific bite wounds and Hornish swerving to meet that challenge by belatedly admitting there was a teeth-into-flesh incident but again blaming the nurse’s aid.
“Police went on to say she sustained “massive injuries including flesh, muscle and tendon loss to the lower extremities””
“Hornish admits the dog bit D’Aleo, but said it happened when a nurse’s aid in the house thought the dog was attacking their friend and was trying to get him away from her.”
“Police said under the “Ian Dunbar Bite Assessment Scale, the incident rated a level six of six.”
To find Dunbar’s scale, the police seem to be actually investigating, not just chalking it up to ‘old lady, big dog, tragic accident.’ That’s a relief.
Hornish’s behavior in this is baffling.
She walks into her home to find a woman she’s known her entire life, a close friend of her mother for almost 70 years, being attacked by the pit bull she acquired 4 months earlier.
She has to pry the pit bull off the woman, who is on the floor and unconscious.
She calls 911 and indicates only a dog bite; emergency responders only realize the extent of the injuries, which include missing flesh and tendons, upon arriving at the house.
She immediately makes statements to police and the press implying that the fault for the deadly attack lies with the elderly woman for falling and the health aid for hitting the pit bull. She generously adds that she doesn’t fault anyone for their ‘irrational behavior’ based on fear.
She denies the pit bull bit the victim until police make it impossible to avoid admitting it.
She describes the pit bull she’s owned only a brief period and which she’s just witnessed mauling a woman to death in glowing terms to the press, calling it a gentle pet.
She says she’s prepared to address the towns ‘perceived concerns’ about the pit bull, using weaselspeak she must have acquired in her political career to describe fears of a deadly pit bull as a ‘perceived’ problem.
She says she desperately wants to avoid euthanizing the killer pit bull.
Covering Her Assets.
Great summary, Sara. Many people look at the druggies, the inattentive parents, the thugs and “trash” as being the lowest of pit bull owners when this happens. But I find Hornish to be of the absolutely must disgusting character of any pit bull owner I’ve seen on this site, for all the reasons listed above.
How can she bear to look at her elderly mother whose friend was torn apart in her home and want to keep that dog alive? Just how? It would at least be almost understandable if she was just trying to cover her own culpability with her lies… people do that all the time. Self-preservation is despicable, but natural. But trying to save the dog? My only guess is that she may be worried about repercussions from her fellow pit mongers. Or can it really be that the love and loyalty she should feel for her mother and her mother’s poor dead friend is LESS than the love and loyalty she feels toward a stupid dog that she’s only had for months? That thought is really sickening.
I meant to add that I wonder if SHE still trusts Dexter, having seen what he is capable of doing. Would she be willing to go into a pen with him, or bring him back into her home with her momma? Or is she fine with him living as long as it is only putting someone else at risk?
If she does someone else will die. How far is she willing to take this delusion? The dog will do this again!
She doesn’t care about the dog either! She cares about self, ego, the pit mongering cult.
If she actually cared about the dysfunctional demented frustrated dog, she would put him down immediately
I’m trying to imagine this woman coming home to what must have looked like an abattoir, with the survivors reacting as normal people would react to such a horrific, sustained attack. The blood spattered walls and furniture, the hysterical (I would imagine) home health aid, and the gore covered pit on a mission. Her sociopathic response to this, trying to logically spin a story, is almost as terrifying as the attacking pit itself.
This video is fun. Who the hell talks to the media, straight-faced, and without tears after their dog kills someone? Who provides photos of their pit looking “cute” after it mauls someone to death? Who doesn’t even know if their dog weighs 30 or up to 50 lbs?
And, for anyone who would like to email her to resign:
Who? A self-promoting, self-preserving, self-serving POLITICIAN!
I personally find the birthday video very disturbing, as Dexter was extremely upset in that video. Yet, no one saw a need to put Dexter where he would be more comfortable. Personally, I would never have left a dog that upset at a party with numerous guests.
On a game dog forum, someone asked if a game dog puppy could be raised, trained to not be dog aggressive (to kill family, their own kind).
Someone answered, “why, that would be like getting a bird dog, and then trying to train it not to point.”
Another answered, “you could never be sure plus you would end up with an unstable dog”.
When asked about a severe attack on a child, the answer was not “the child tormented the dog” or “that dog was trained to attack.”
No, one knowledgeable dog fancier explained:
“Kids are dog sized
Pits attack and kill dogs
That’s what pits do.”
And yet it is such a mystery to the media. You continually see the media shake their heads and question, “What caused the dog to attack?” Instead of talking to silly nonsensical pit pushing rescue “experts,” they should consult the real experts in pit behavior, these game dog breeders. They know why the dog “unexpectedly became aggressive.”
The pit’s freaking name was Dexter! Only a psychotic pit lover would name it something like that, and they do that crap all the time. This Hornish woman is a complete sociopath, just like her ‘gentle, never shown aggression before’ but I’ve only had him 4 months Dexter murder pit. These people are sick.
Hornish claimed that psycho Dexter is “singing” in that video? How can anyone who represents dogs and claims to know dogs be that willfully ignorant? I’m not a dog body language expert, but I’m quite familiar with it. (Knowing the signs prevented me from getting my face ripped off at work by a redlining GSP many years ago.) Dexter is CLEARLY not happy or comfortable in that video. His body language is abundantly clear.
She is still sticking to the “enthusiastic greeting” BS?! Any greeting from a dog should never result in “massive injuries including flesh, muscle and tendon loss to the lower extremities,” and/or death. What the hell is wrong with her?!?!
Hornish is woefully unfit to represent dogs, and even more so the people of Connecticut. Thank God she lost her bid for the police commission. Someone that contemptible deserves no place in public service.
The claim that Dexter was “singing” in that video is exactly the kind delusional anthropomorphizing that ends up getting people killed. I’d like to think (but I’d be wrong) that someone in such a high position dealing with animals would know better. That dog was literally ready to snap and any reasonable person would know that. But I guess in order to rise to that level of hierarchy in the HSUS requires a level of either delusion or deception.
Does Hornish not comprehend that this could have been her OWN MOTHER killed by this dog? Or is she so far gone that she wouldn’t even care?
Colleen, do you know the fate of Dexter? Is he still with Hornish? Is her mother still at risk? I looked through the article but didn’t find anything about whether he was euthanized or “rehomed”. (I was also pretty tired when reading.) If she decides to keep the killing dog around her defenseless mother, her level of depravity is beyond belief.
I really don’t have anything to add that hasn’t already been said. I’m not even shocked anymore at the complete delusion of these pitbull apologist cult members. All I can say is I would never vote for a politician this deluded and am happy to hear that she lost her senate race last year. Doesn’t matter what party she ran for or what her positions on anything were, it is obvious that nothing she said could ever be trusted to be the truth. Normal people would be filled with guilt and shame to know their dog killed a visitor in their home. Normal people wouldn’t try to blame a health aide protecting the woman who was murdered. Normal people would 100% blame the dog (and if they were brutally honest, express regret for own their culpability in taking such a dog into their home….even if they didn’t have the courage to do that, they would at least have the conscious to keep quiet and not make excuses for the murderous animal.) And while I use the term murder, the fault is completely with the human owner, the dog is not capable of premeditatedly deciding to kill, it is an animal with programmed instincts, and this pitbull acted on its instincts. It i s not the pitbull’s fault in this regard, but it shows that pitbulls are NOT household pets, any more than tigers or bears. Let’s hope Dexter is euthanized, which is the only acceptable solution after this horrific attack (but I fear his idiot owner will return him to her home and let him kill her own mom or who knows who else.)
Love the new news article. Now, disgusting Annie Hornish refers to her dog as “our dog” and “our dog, Dexter” to now implicate her mother as sharing responsibility in all this. So far she blamed the victim’s personal home health aid, the victim, and now her own mother as a shareholder in ownership of the defective Dexter.
There is a sharp contrast here between this killing pit bull owner and Heather Anglin, whose dogs killed a homeless man in CA. One is affuent, probably respected in her community, responsible enough to care for her elderly mother, involved in her community and state. She owned a neutered pit bull because it made her feel like a rescue hero. The other is a downtrodden drug addict who can barely care for herself, contributes nothing at all to her community but actually drains it of resources, and owns pit bulls because it’s part of her thug image and selling puppies helps buy her another high.
Even the deaths contrast… Hornish’s dog was in its own home and attacked a visiting friend, a sweet and respectable old lady who died with someone trying desperately to defend her. Anglin’s dogs were loose and hunted down a transient who died alone and so unknown that they had to identify him by his tattoos. Such stark contrasts.
But one factor has brought these two disparate women together and placed them in the same category… their breed of choice resulted in the death of another human. I think everyone wants to pretend it’s only the Heather Anglins of the world whose dogs kill people. She “looks the part.” And, sadly, I think people want to believe that the only deaths by pit bills are “lowlife” thugs who have no value (I don’t believe this, he was a human being and did not deserve such a death). But the reality is that whether a pit owner is Annie Hornish or Heather Anglin, that dog can easily and happily kill someone.
It’s not how they’re treated. It’s not whether the owner is good or bad, responsible or reckless. It’s not whether the victim “did something wrong.” It’s the breed. It’s what they DO.
I doubt Hornish with her political career and high level respectable friends would have ever thought she’d be sharing such a grim statistic with Heather Anglin. And Anglin certainly wouldn’t want to be put into any category with Hornish! But here they are, together, because a pit bull will do what a pit bull has been manufactured to do.
Unfortunately, the victims obituary has come out. It specifically acknowledges the dedication of her caregiver, I can imagine this is because the lady tried as hard as she could to fend off the attacking dog from her elderly client. Yet Hornish wants everyone to believe that the care giver was some crazy woman who beat a dog for no reason. Let’s hope the family gets justice for their loved one and Hornish gets jail.
what happened to Ms. D’Aleo sickens me, as it should anyone with even the most rudimentary of feelings. it breaks my heart that a person could reach the age of 95 and end up dying this way.
what does ms. d’aleo’s friend–hornish’s mother–have to say about this, i wonder?
i’m glad that hornish lost her election bid, but i’m angered she is not in prison.
I don’t even know what to say about this one. It’s so bad, it’s funny. But it’s not funny.
1) Hornish reactivating her FB page and attempting to resume normal social media operations – commenting on news stories, connecting with fellow believers on various (non dog/pit bull) topics, often expressing moral outrage. Really? Really?
2) The aggressive ongoing efforts to prolong the pit bull’s life. Including the 5-6 people who were not involved in this whole mess (ie, not Hornish and not the woman who rehome Dexter to Hornish) who helpfully wrote letters of support for Hornish’s efforts to prevent the pit bull’s euthanization. Are they INSANE?
Boy, do I ever want to hear what Hornish’s mother has to say about all this! I read Hornish’s latest FB post (thanks, Colleen, for capturing this gem) and it really shows how delusional she is. Does her mother, who lost a dear friend in a truly horrible manner, agree with her? It’s hard to imagine how anyone could when told of the conclusions from the autopsy. I can’t imagine her wanting to be trapped in that house with Dexter after witnessing what he did.
Yes, and she keeps “we” this and “we” that. I assume “we” is Honish and her 90-something mother. She puts words, thoughts, and actions to her mom that I just can’t believe. Yeah, Annie, no way does your mom miss this dog, want to visit him, want to touch him. Annie, you are a sicko.
The victim’s family is taking the only course left to them, a lawsuit.
At least this will give the Hornish family a chance to reveal all that evidence they claimed was distorted or left out of the police report:
“This is causing us a lot of additional pain,” Hornish said. “Janet was a longtime family friend. … This is hard enough to deal with without all this added grief from the town… With dangerous dogs, in some cases, euthanizing is required. Sometimes there’s nothing else that can be done, but that’s absolutely not the case here. More will be coming out in the future with this, I can tell you.”
I for one am agog with anticipation.
Yes! I was hoping there would be some civil action in this case.
Hornish’s attitude in this whole situation has been one of “woe is me, we don’t have our sweet loving pupper Dexter who would never hurt anyone and how dare anyone suggest he be out to sleep, he deserves better, blah blah blah.” She’s upset that she has been deprived of her murderous dog which she’s had just a handful of months. But in reading the complaint by the victim’s family, I appreciate the wording that is used… the decedent “Mrs. D’Aleo has been permanently deprived of the opportunity to pursue and enjoy life’s activities.” Permanently deprived of these things because she is dead because of this dog.
So let’s weigh these two things… one person is sad because she’s deprived of her dog. Another person has been permanently deprived of the opportunity to pursue and enjoy life’s activities.”
I hope justice and sanity rules here.
My apologies for typos in the above. I was kind of emotional while writing, thinking of the grief and pain D’Aleo’s family must feel when their matriarch’s life is valued as less than that of a mere dog.
I was thinking of her family the other day. What a holiday season it must be for them.
And although it runs a very, very distant second to their situation, I think the pit bull’s situation is tragic. I’ve known dogs who have anxiety disorders such that medication and management are necessary to live safely with them. Even with love and mood-altering/anxiety-reducing lifetime meds, these dogs spend the majority of their lives in distress. They develop gastrointestinal issues from stress, they suffer neurotic habits such as pica, they self-mutilate. Dexter is suffering in the kennel, and was suffering in Hornish’s home, and was suffering in the homes it had before that.
There is a time coming when we’re going to call this idea of endlessly ‘saving’ and ‘rescuing’ and ‘rehabbing’ severely anxious dogs what it is – cruelty and abuse. When a dog has a serious temperament/behavior disorder, it’s cruel to move him from home to home, just as it would be cruel to move a sick or dying dog from home to home. And yet now we see rescue people doing both routinely, and bragging about it. At some point (and I’d argue that point is pretty early in the process), the motivation is clearly more about the self-gratification of the humans rather than the well-being of the animals.
The lawyer’s statement is perfect:
“This terrible loss is compounded by the fact that it was entirely preventable. And the family’s pain is made even worse by the extreme efforts being employed to fight the animal control officer’s decision to euthanize this obviously dangerous dog. Had that much energy been used to control the dog in the first place, this tragedy would not have happened,” said Houlihan.
In the birthday party video, it looks like the dog is about to bite the lady sitting on the chair, and she gets up to avoid it. That’s a big red flag.
A bit dated and a dog on dog incident, but still disturbing and outrages none the less.
Just read an article in the Journal Inquirer with the headline indicating the Hornish’s want the Pit Bull to undergo “behavioral assessment”! Really??? I think the Hornish’s should undergo some sort of “assessment”. Wonder if they plan to take their Dexter back to their residence and subject him to Annie’s mother who is wheelchair bound with little ability to defend herself if Dexter chose to “attack” without Annie or Neil present as was the late Mrs. D’Aleo.
Tell me please, Annie & Neil did you enjoy your holidays? I am pretty sure the D’Aleo family did not and their days were filled with grief.
God help you all to find your way to common sense and compassion for the D’Aleo family.
well, in my opinion-any dog that kills a human being has already had their behavioral ‘assestment’ -and they failed
The thought of Dexter getting to undergo an “assessment” is disgusting. Can’t help but wonder how this will be done. Will any “old friends” be available for him to exuberantly greet to the point of death? If he passes the assessment, does that mean he will be released? I can’t recall Dexter’s age, but if he is several years old this dog spent thousands of days not killing someone, and one day in which he did kill someone. So if he passes an assessment nothing is proven except at that moment in time, Dexter didn’t show deadly behavior. It’s like a photo of a baby lying on a pit bull… pit bull pushers use these as proof of a dog’s sweetness, when all such a photo proves is that at that very moment, the dog wasn’t in the act of killing a child!
And if Dexter fails, Hornish will blame it on him being in a kennel for so long, being “tortured,” the assessment not being on her terms, etcetera. Nothing will ever satisfy this woman until Dexter is back in her home with access to her own elderly mother. I have zero doubt that Hornish’s mother wants that dog dead and buried for what it did to her friend.
I think it would be really ironic if Annie Hornish did get to visit Dexter and was “greeted exuberantly” in the same way Mrs. D’AIeo was greeted. I wonder then if she would change her mind about poor misunderstood Dexter. It would clearly take harm to herself to have an impact on Annie Hornish, because she is obviously the only one she cares about. Not her mother, not her mother’s elderly friend or caregiver, not the public who are put at risk by Dexter, and not even Dexter himself.
According to the Hornish’s lawyer, the behaviorists have spoken: Dexter is sweet, gentle and docile.
The lawyer refused to allow media to see the behaviorists’ reports, so there’s a chance he’s twisting their words a bit.
More recent news, however, is the police releasing a report on the killing that includes the testimony of the aide – the only person not connected to the Hornish family who witnessed the attack, the only one whose story has not changed repeatedly, and the one who the Hornish family has chosen to blame.
The aide says the pit bull was barking at them from the moment they approached the house, and that she asked Agnes Wosko, her client’s friend and Annie Hornish’s mother, to put the pit bull away or she’d leave. Wosko took the pit bull away, but when the aide left the house briefly to move the car, she saw the pit bull charging toward her as she entered the house again. She jumped back, closing the door between them, and saw through the glass in the door as Dexter attacked D’Aleo.
Wosko’s initial words to police were stunned repititions of how Dexter was unstoppably aggressive; two days later, she sends them a written statement that is markedly less damaging to the pit bull:
“Please consider that this was an accident, and that Dexter might have bit because he was being hit,”
Quote: “Boni on August 25, 2020 at 6:18 pm said:
Update on Anne Hornish (Humane Society) Pitbull Case (you can move it or use it elsewhere or just read it but I just wanted you to get the updated info, Colleen)
https://www.journalinquirer.com/towns/enfield/lawyer-3-5m-is-what-family-thinks-is-a-reasonable-offer-in-fatal-dog-attack/article_1ae83258-e6d6-11ea-ae6e-7f03458fb37d.html” End quote.
I was just thinking today about the Anne Hornish case, about how a professional evil person lied about the circumstances of the attack, in order to blame the victim, and about how she was caught in her lie. Now we see that she lied to her insurance company. When will dangerous canines be removed from so-called civilized society? When will insurance companies demand and effect removal of dangerous canines from our society? Probably not in our lifetimes, at the rate that organized Evil entities exterminate Good, on the surface of this planet.
This is excellent news!!! Has anybody been able to find the name of the insurance company?
That awful Annie Hornish’s lies know no bounds.
It’s not so much the dog that frightens me in this case, it is the alleged “human!!” At least the killer dog acted the part, but the “human” owner had none of the emotional qualities that are normally found in “humans.” They even called the dog the name “Dexter” which I associated with a sensational mass killer, as I am sure the owner did as well. This website is amazing. It made me realize that I hike outdoors frequently, and occasionally see wild animals, but have never been attacked by cougars, or bears, or wolves. But, on numerous occasions I have been attacked and had to fend off, dogs who have been let off their leashes by their owners. It is a real problem, much more than the threat of “wild animals.”
What is the latest with Dexter?
Dexter was alive and well as of a couple of months ago:
“The owners of the dog that killed an elderly woman in 2019 have stopped paying their quarantined pet’s boarding costs, forcing the town to pick up the tab, Town Attorney Derek Donnelly said.”